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California Small Estate Affidavit – Form DE-310

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The California small estate affidavit, called a Petition to Determine Succession to Real Property, is used by successors in interest to a person who died to collect real and personal property totaling $150,000 or less in California. It cannot be filed until 40 days have elapsed since the person died. It is used to facilitate the transfer of property of a small estate without a prolonged probate action, but it still will require probate authorization from the .

Days After Death () – The form may be filed forty (40) days after the date of decedent’s death.

Execution – This form must be signed with an attorney present.

Maximum – All real and personal property of the decedent may not have a market value over one-hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($150,000) in accordance with .

Probate Laws

How to Write

1 – Obtain Form DE-310

Locate the image on the right of this page. You may use the PDF button below the image to open this form and enter the information using a form friendly browser or save it then work on it using an appropriate program.

2 – Supply Petitioner or Petitioner Representative Information

Enter the Full Name of the Attorney representing the Petitioner, of if there is no attorney, the Full Name of the Petitioner on the first blank space (labeled “Name”). Note: If you are reporting and Attorney’s Identity make sure to include this entity’s Bar Number in the upper right hand corner on the space following “State Bar No.”

If the Petitioner does have an Attorney, then enter the Name of this Attorney’s Firm on the space following the words “Firm Name.”

Report the Street Address (Building Number/Street/Suite Number) in the space after “Street Address.” This should be either the Street Address of the Attorney/Firm representing the Petitioner or that of the Petitioner.

Locate the three blank spaces following the words “City,” “State,” and “Zip Code” then enter the City, State, and Zip Code in their appropriate spaces. Make sure to enter the information corresponding to the Street Address reported.

Next, some contact information must be entered. First, the Daytime Telephone Number for the entity representing the Petitioner or the Petitioner must be reported on the space following the words “Telephone No.” Then, on the same line, enter the contact Fax Number for this entity just after the word “Fax No.”

Enter the E-Mail Address for the Petitioner (or the entity representing the Petitioner) in the available area.

If the submitter of this document is an Attorney/Firm then, report the Full Name of the Petitioner being represented on the space after the words “Attorney For (name).” This must be the entity who has commissioned the listed Attorney. If there is no representative and the information above is that of the Petitioner, this space may be left blank.

3 – Document Superior Court of California Information

On the blank space following the words “Superior Court of California, County Of,” report the Name of the County where this document is being submitted

Report the Street Address of the California Superior Court handling this matter on the first blank space below the words “Superior Court of California, County Of”

On the next space, in this section, enter the Mailing Address of the California Superior Court handling this matter.

Record the City and Zip Code corresponding to the Street and Mailing Address reported.

Report the Branch Name of the California Superior Court ruling over this matter.

4 – Matter Information

Enter the Decedent’s Full Name on the space after “Matter Of”

Report the “Case Number” and the “Hearing Date and Time” in the two spaces on the right (directly below the empty box reserved for Court Use”).

5 – Supply The Required Decedent Information

In Item 1, report the Full Name of each individual “claiming an interest” in the Decedent’s Real Property. If no administration of the Decedent’s Estate will be required then, mark the check box between the words “…that the real property” and “and personal property…”

In Item 2, report the Full Name of the Decedent. Then, in Item 2a, record the Date of Death. Next, fill in the Place of Death on the space in Item 2b. If this was in the United States, enter the City/State but it the Decedent passed away outside the United States record the City/Country.

Item 3 states that at least Forty Days have elapsed since the Decedent’s Date of Death.

It will be necessary to confirm whether the Decedent was a resident of the County or a nonresident owning property in the county. Mark check box “a,” in Item 4, if the Decedent was a resident of the County receiving this paperwork. Mark “b” if the Decedent was a nonresident and passed away while in ownership of real property in the County.

If the Decedent did not have a will in place when he or she died, then mark the first check box in Item 5. However, if the Decedent did have a will, mark the second check box, then attach a copy of the will to this document.

In Item 6, mark the first box to indicate there is no current proceedings occurring or the second check box to indicate if the Decedent’s Personal Representative’s consent is necessary and attached.

In Item 7, indicate if the Decedent’s Estate proceedings have not commenced in another jurisdiction by marking the first check box, have commenced by marking check box Item 7b, or have been completed in the check box labeled “and completed.” If out of jurisdiction proceedings have been scheduled, are in process, or settled then, report the State, County, Court, and Case Number of such proceedings.

Attach a completed Judicial Council Form DE-160 and DE-161 as per Item 8.

6 – Supply Required Survivor Information

Item 9 will seek to define survivors of the Decedent. This will be done by choosing the appropriate definitions for the survivor type. Make sure when reporting this information that you do not select conflicting items (i.e. the Decedent can either be marked as having a surviving spouse or not but not both).

If the Decedent is survived by a Spouse, mark Choice (1). If the Decedent is not survived by a Spouse, then mark Choice (2). This may be further defined by either marking the box “(a) divorced or never married” or marking box “(b) spouse deceased.

If the Decedent is survived by a Registered Domestic Partner, then mark Choice (3). However, if the Decedent is not survived by a Registered Domestic Partner,  mark Choice (4).

If the Decedent is survived by a Child then mare Choice 5 then, mark either the box preceding the words “natural or adopted” or mark the box preceding the words “natural adopted by a third party” to define the child’s status. If the Decedent is not survived by a Child, then mark the box for Choice (6). 

If the Decedent has an issue of a predeceased child,  mark the box for Choice (7). If not, then mark Choice 8.

Item 9b will require a determination of stepchild/foster child status. If the Decedent is survived by a Stepchild or Foster child, who would otherwise be adopted but for paperwork, then mark the first box in this statement. If not, the mark the second box in this section.

At the top of the next page, use the space provided to supply the Matter Name and Case Number this form is concerned of.

Item 10, at the top of the next page, will require report on any next of kin that may have survived the Decedent. If the Decedent is survived by a spouse or domestic partner, then mark the box immediately next to “10.” If this is the case and there is no issue between kin and this entity then choose only “a” or “b.” Otherwise, if there is no Spouse or Domestic Partner surviving the Decedent, you may continue to choose from any of the four choices.

Mark Choice 10a if the Decedent is survived by a parent(s)

Mark Choice 10b if the Decedent is survived by a brother, sister, or issue of a brother or sister

Mark Choice 10C if the Decedent has other heirs (see Probate Code section 6400 et seq.)

Mark Choice 10d if there is no next of kin surviving the Decedent.

7 – Define Petitioner Interest

Item 11 will require confirmation of two attachments: the Legal Description of the Decedent’s Real Property and Assessor’s Parcel Number and the Petitioner’s Claim to the Decedent’s Property whether it be in the form of official paperwork or a statement based on succession under Probate Code sections 6401 and 6402. Mark the box in this item once you have attached this form.

If the Petitioner(s) a successor to the Decedent’s Real and Personal Property, mark the box in Item 12 (following the words “…real property”). Then mark the check box in Item 12a if the Petitioner(s) claim to succession is based on being named in the will. If not, then mark the check box in Item 12b.

Item 13 will require the specific property interest that each Petitioner claims on the Decedent’s Real Property and, if the check box preceding the words “and Personal Property,” the Decedent’s Personal Property. If this claim is stated in an attachment, label the Attachment “Attachment 13,” then mark the checkbox labeled “is stated in Attachment 13.” If the claim may be made simply, record it in the blank space and mark the box labeled “is as follows.”

Include an attachment of the Name, Relationship to Decedent, Age, and Residential/Mailing Address of each Petitioner, Ascertainable Petitioner, all Decedent Devisees, and person named in Items 1, 9, 10. Label this “Attachment 14.”

8 – Define Representatives of Decedent’s Estate

Next it will be time to report on status of any Executors of the Decedent’s Estate. Four options are available

If the Decedent has named an Executor in his or her will then mark the first check box and list them in the space provided

If the Decedent has named an Executor in his or her will and these individuals are listed in an attachment, then label the Attachment “Attachment 15” and mark the second box in this item

If no Executor has been named, then mark the third check box.

If the Decedent did not have a will then mark the fourth check box.

If the Petitioner is a Trustee of Devisee Trust under the Decedent’s will then mark the first box in Item 16. If the Petitioner.

The first check box in Item 17 should be marked if the Decedent’s Estate was under a Guardianship or Conservatorship at the time of death. You must also indicate which one of these circumstances apply by marking the check box labeled either “guardianship” or the check box labeled “conservatorship” in this statement. You may list the Names and Address of each individual serving as a guardian or conservator in the space provided, and marking the box labeled “are listed below” or you may provide this roster as an attachment (Label it “Attachment 17”) and marking the box labeled “are listed in Attachment 17.”

9 – Verify The Information On This Form

In Item 18, list the Number of Pages accompanying this form as attachments on the blank space provided.

The final area of this document will prove the space required to for the submitting parties to provide a Date of Signature and Signature. This is mandatory.

Locate the word “Date” below Item 18. If an Attorney is submitting this form, then he or she should list the Date of Signature on the blank line provided. Below this the Signature Attorney’s Printed Name must appear on the blank line labeled “Type or Print Name of Attorney.” Finally, the Attorney must sign his or her name on the blank line labeled “Signature of Attorney.”

Regardless of whether an Attorney is submitting this form or not, each Petitioner must provide some items in the final portion of this document. Locate the words “I declare under penalty…” The Petitioner must provide the Date of Signature on the line labeled “Date.” Below this, each Petitioner’s Printed Name and Signature must be presented. There is enough room for two Petitioners to provide their Name and Signature however, if there are more than two Petitioners, you may attach a document with the other Petitioner Signatures. Make sure to mark the check box labeled “Signatures of Additional Petitioners Attached,” if attaching additional signatures. 

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